WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
WHOO gets you the news? NHPR! Start your monthly gift and select the owl swag of your choice as a thank you gift.

Some Dartmouth College Athletes Consider Title IX Suit After Program Cuts

Dartmouth_by_Brave_Sir_Robin.jpg
Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin
/

Earlier this year, Dartmouth College announced it was cutting five sports programs as a way to reduce athletic department expenses, citing the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the college.

The teams that were cut included men’s and women’s swimming and diving and golf teams, and men’s lightweight rowing

Now, some athletes are considering legal action against the college. 

Arthur Bryant, a California-based attorney with Bailey & Glasser, is representing members of the women’s swimming and diving and golf teams. 

In a letter sent to Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon last Friday, Bryant wrote that the elimination of the women’s teams violates Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination. He’s asking the college to reinstate the two programs. 

“You cannot eliminate an active women’s team unless the opportunities to participate in the program are substantially proportionate to their enrollment rates, ” Bryant said.  

Bryant, who was a lead lawyer in the first Title IX case tried against a university for discriminating against its women athletes, says that Dartmouth would need to add 47 women to its athletic programs to reach gender equity under Title IX.  

In its announcement of the cuts, Dartmouth said it was in compliance with Title IX. 

A Dartmouth spokesperson says the college is reviewing the letter and quote “we look forward to responding.” Bryant called on Dartmouth to respond no later than Tuesday, December 22. 

Similar situations have played out at William & Mary University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, which had both announced they would eliminate or suspend sports teams to save money. 

Bryant sent letters to both universities stating they were in violation of Title IX, and that he would file a lawsuit to prevent their elimination.  Both of those universities later reinstated those women’s teams. 

Bryant says the Dartmouth women athletes he represents also want the men’s team’s to be reinstated. 

“If Dartmouth needs to save some money, it should save it some other way. That’s entirely possible.” 

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She also leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.